Sunday, April 27, 2008

Knitting Motivation

On the Sock Knitter's list, the question came up the other day about how people motivate themselves to finish socks that you are no longer excited by. For me, I usually set them aside for a little while and see if the excitement or interest returns. Ordinarily I am able to maintain the excitement through the entire first sock. Once the first sock is done, I get excited about starting the second one so I can get a completed pair. That excitement usually lasts me through the end of the pair.

With that said, I do have slumps in my knitting activity. Right now I'm not terribly interested in sitting still to knit. That's got nothing to do with the projects themselves but with my brain. I'd rather be out in the yard digging in the dirt or mowing the lawn. If I could figure out a way that worked for me to weed flower beds *and* knit, I'd do it. I guess I'm a bit stir-crazy and just not interested in sitting around, even with a good movie on TV or a good audiobook or podcast. Heck, I can hardly stay focused on a single podcast that ordinarily would be very interesting. I get about 15 minutes into it and lose interest. Once I adjust to the longer days and nicer outdoor weather, I'll get back into my usual knitting/sitting time. Right now I'm gorging on time outside. (Of course, now that I've said that, today is chilly and rainy.)

Friday, April 18, 2008

The Collection of Half-Knit Socks

So, round 3 of Sock Madness is now completed. The next pattern comes out on Monday, I think. I still have only half of the first sock of pair #3 finished. For that matter I have only half of the first sock of pair #2 finished as well. Methinks there is a trend developing here. A trend in which I get a bunch of partly finished socks knit and then may or may not actually finish them. *sigh*

I am not going to carry the slip stitch pattern down the bottom of the heel or foot. I know the slipped stitches would make the sock thicker, but I think it would make them unwearably thick. I'd like to be able to wear these with shoes and I'm not interested in buying shoes just to wear with these socks.

Fleeces Have Arrived!
Mouse and Lacey arrived this week. There was more veggie matter than I expected since these were covered fleeces, but it wasn't the worst I've seen. I shook out both fleeces thoroughly before storage, which removed a lot of veggie matter and quite a few second cuts.

On Monday I'll call Carol at Hidden Valley Farm about the fleece she's holding for me. It'll be my fourth or fifth fleece from them. They do such a lovely job. Long, clean, VM-free fleeces that are a dream to handle. It definitely spoils you and shows you what superb fleeces are possible with proper management. I have also learned that a premium fleece is definitely worth a premium price.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Slippin' Stripin' Socks

The third round of Sock Madness has begun. I wound the balls last night. Of course, about the time I got the first ball wound I read the instructions and discovered that I needed to be able to knit with both ends of the ball. So I re-wound the first ball into a center pull ball. Oops! The green yarn (it really is greener than it looks against the blue background) is KnitPicks Shadow in Lost Lake. The white yarn is the merino handspun.

All I need to do now is figure out which color to call the "main" color and cast on!! I even have an entire weekend available for knitting! I got all my errands done on my afternoon off yesterday. Tonight I'm watching Charlton Heston at his best in Ben-Hur. Tomorrow I'll watch at least some of the Deadliest Catch marathon on the Discovery Channel, perhaps taking a break to clean the carburetor on my tiller. The weather is expected to be cold and it rained *hard* last night and this morning, so yard work is not an option/distractor. I might well get a pair of socks knit in one weekend!!

Since I'm officially out of the competition, I am going to modify the pattern somewhat. I'm not a big fan of K1, P1 ribbing. I think it looks sloppy, at least when I do it. The knit stitches are often very uneven. I'll sub K2, P2 or K3, P1 instead.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Out of Sock Madness :-(

Alas, I didn't finish my first sock before 20 other people in my bracket finished their whole pair. I did, however, rip it back to my error and fix the boo-boo. I've now decided to finish the pair, though I may not finish them right away.

Although I'm out of the competition, I am going to keep knitting along. I'm really excited about the next sock. It's going to be the lace weight one. I'm using one skein of KnitPicks Shadow in Lost Lake (a mossy green color) and some cream colored handspun merino singles. I don't know that I've ever used handspun for a knitting project before. I've mostly just stockpiled it. Now I need to wind the yarn into balls and I'm good to go!

In other knitting....

I did finish the first of the fuschia wool socks. It's a little roomy, but certainly wearable. These socks are a bit heavier than the usual fingering weight, but toasty warm and cheery.

The lace knitting bug is calling me again. I've been keeping up with MMario and his designs. I would like to knit Vkandis and Queen Anne's Lace (pictured). The former appeals to me because of the reference back to Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar books. The latter design appeals to me just for it's beauty and intricacy. I can't imagine how long it will take to finish. I just need to decide what color to make it. I have suitable yarn in bright red or in pale silvery-gray.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Reversai Progress

There isn't a whole lot to report. There is one space left in the Baylor bracket. I still haven't even managed to complete the first sock. I am still plugging away at it, but I sincerely doubt that I'll get a whole other sock done by the end of the week! I'll still keep knitting along during the remaining rounds and cheering on the other knitters, but I don't think I'll be in contention for the final rounds.

No pictures yet. I'll post one as soon as I get the first sock finished.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Half Of Reversai Sock 1

I'm not going particularly fast on this one. I'd be further along if the pattern had been released on the weekend, but things didn't work that way and I'll keep on chugging along as best I can. I think I messed up the pattern though after I finished the heel. I think I started the repeat with a knit section instead of a purl section. Oopsies. I didn't exactly look at the chart, I just knew that first section was solid rather than seed stitch. Sigh. This error will, undoubtedly, be something that I will notice, but nobody else will see unless I point it out (unless the observer has also knit the socks and is familiar with the pattern).

I don't think I've made a garter stitch, short row heel before. It's easy enough to do, but I don't know how it will fit. I had to pay attention to the turns so I didn't miss one, but I managed that ok.

Update April 4, 2008:
Waaah! As of 5:30 pm on Friday the 4th of April, there are 15 completed pairs of socks in my bracket. I'm barely past halfway through on the first of the two socks. I ain't gonna make it through this one as slow as I'm knitting, esp since I will be working on Sunday. Pooh.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Sock Madness Round 2!

I've started my sock. I pick out a ball of Sockotta (cotton/wool/nylon blend) for this pair. The feature about this design is that the socks will be reversible. I think it's a cool idea that merits some more study after SM2 is over.

In other fibery news....I made arrangements to purchase three fleeces today. All three are Coopworth. I won't be going to the Fiber Event this weekend, but didn't want to go another year without a Hidden Valley Farm Coopworth fleece, so I e-mailed the kind folks at HVF. Although it doesn't say so on their website, they do sell fleeces directly. Yay!!! I have now used up the last of my birthday/Christmas money *and* did my part to stimulate the economy.